Sunday, March 24, 2013

Trying to keep up and keep my sanity.

It's been an busier week than usual.  Steady is finally settling in nicely.  He is eating again and making friends in his pasture.  His pasture is probably 5 acres or so that he shares with 4 other geldings that is surrounded by woods on 3 sides and adjoined to the next pasture.  The place is quite lovely.  I really would like to take pictures and feel flaky that I have not but I am telling you that even just trying to keep all the plates up in the air this week has been nearly impossible.  I had another lesson on Tuesday and I audited a clinic on Friday with Mary Wanless.  I don't know how many of you are familiar with her or her dressage training methods by they are quite intriguing.  Her entire philosophy is based upon bio mechanics and the riders ability to ride balanced and correctly in turn will make the horse go correctly.  After riding for over 2 decades and not being that shabby of a rider attempting to delve myself into this extremely deep and detailed method of dressage training I feel like a complete nincompoop and that I am literally starting at square one.  It is almost depressing yet I am still drawn to it, intrigued by it and want to learn more.  I cannot go into much detail about it but Mary sells many DVD's and books that will explain it far better than I can.  I will though, try to keep updated on my lessons and that way I can dialogue the process from square one with a newbie.  But that must wait until my next lesson post.  The only other reason I am a bit put off about going full on dressage is the utter snobbiness within the sport.  I am self confident enough and always have been that I have never had the need to pretend to make others feel less intelligent or capable than myself in order to feel superior or better about myself and have also am almost repulsed by those that do.  If they only knew that their demeanor and attitudes make them seem insecure about themselves than actually make me believe they are superior.  So I am intrigued by the sport and will choose to tolerate the people that I have to in order to learn.  This is the biggest reason I am an Eventer and not Hunter/Jumper like I grew up doing and loving simply because of the people within the sport.

My rides have been progressively better and better which is really nice after not being able to ride for so long because he was a monster.  That is up until today.  It was his first day being ridden in the outdoor at the new place.  There were probably 5 other horses in the arena with us and Mr. Princess just was over zealous about every damn thing.  We attempted trot poles that turned into jumping the first one then decided to just jump that last two together then canter off like a freight train.  So we resorted to a lot of walking and halting (pretty much all we are capable of doing in our lessons right now anyways)  I kind of regret not taking the opportunity on this rare lovely day when the others went for a jaunt around the perimeters.  I think it would have helped Steady and would have made me less frustrated after our ride.  I can say that he was not a monster by any means I just could not get any nice relaxed work out of him and that was what I was wanting.  I also feel like I have never used so many different muscles when riding than I have learning this new method and it is exhausting.  I feel a new sore muscle every time I ride.  If nothing else I am getting a good work out.

Next up lesson and clinic recap and how you can ride for 20 years yet still spend an entire hour lesson walking and halting.  Exciting stuff I tell you.


  1. I used to feel the same way about dressage - snooty people on fancy expensive horses. But we are not all that way :) I try and steer clear of those types and have met some incredibly geniune likeable people. Looking forward to hearing more about your lessons!

  2. Lucky you auditing Mary Wanless! Just reading her books has improved my riding so much. I'm driving a long way next month to take a lesson with one of her students.

    The first serious clinic I rode in - just walking and halting - made me realize how long I'd been riding incorrectly with regard to position and aiding.

    There are snobs in all disciplines. Glad to hear Steady has chilled out at the new barn.

  3. I hear you on the dressage crowd. Sure, they aren't ALL that way, but a good portion of them onare, just stop by the ultimate dressage forum to see a quite a few of them on display. Some of those women I know personally and they are just as bad in real life. I needed a break from the crowd for a while and have taken to trail and beach riding. I don't know if I'll go back, quite honestly.
    I'm glad to hear Steady has settled in:)

  4. :) Glad the new barn is working out and YAY taking lessons! Super fun.

  5. So jealous you got to audit a clinic with Mary Wanless! She is a fount of incredible knowledge.

    Dressage is like all specialties within the sport of horses. You have asses...and you have not-asses. I've known many, many dressage riders who aren't snooty and plenty of those who are. I've also known more than a few nose-in-the-air hunter riders and far too many western pleasure people I could not stand to be around, but, there are also plenty of those I count among my friends.


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